- Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Despite a 1-6 start that includes six double-digit defeats, Illinois head coach Ron Zook will be back in 2010.
Athletic director Ron Guenther made the announcement at halftime of Saturday's game against Purdue, a 24-14 Illinois loss.
"There will be some changes, but there won't be a change at the top," Guenther told reporters at Ross-Ade Stadium. "There's a great deal of frustration obviously with the program at the moment. We're still going to evaluate [at the end of the season], but I think it's really unfair to start jumping at the end of the fifth year on a guy."
Many schools are far less patient, especially with a team that hasn't come close to maximizing its talent. Illinois has been the Big Ten's biggest disappointment in each of the last two years, and Zook is just 19-36 in four-plus seasons as head coach.
Guenther could still change his mind, I guess, but Zook can breathe a bit easier now.
The thing to keep in mind is Illinois finds itself in a terrible position to make a change. The UI administration is embroiled in a major admissions scandal, which resulted in the resignations of the university president, chancellor and six trustees. It's hard to pay Zook's buyout with so much in flux.
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam RittenbergDespite a 1-6 start that includes six double-digit defeats, Illinois head coach Ron Zook will be back in 2010.Athletic director Ron Guenther made the announcement at halftime of Saturday's game against Purdue, a 24-14 Illinois loss.